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Plecos and Food
 Forum Index > Bottom Dwellers and Invertebrates  Reply to topic   Post new topic
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stevehelium
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Joined: 14 Mar 2006
Location: Japan

PostPosted: 2007.07.18(Wed)9:57    Post subject: Plecos and Food Reply with quote

I recently added three Peckoltia vittata to my 200 liter tank. It is heavily planted and has one decoration that they can hide under.

I have been worried that they are not eating properly. I never see them eat. I have pleco wafer food that I give, but the tiger barbs in my tank seem to pick that apart before the plecos have a chance.

Are there some generaly guidelines for knowing that these reclusive creatures are feeding well enough?

Any generaly input or a link would be appreciated. I am pretty worried.

Thanks,
steve
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andiesch
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Joined: 15 Jan 2007

PostPosted: 2007.07.18(Wed)9:59    Post subject: Reply with quote

well if they are still around chances are they are finding food somewhere. most likely they are out at night when your asleep and finding food that sank to the bottom that your barbs never got to
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deborah_claro
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Joined: 11 May 2006
Location: Virginia, USA

PostPosted: 2007.07.18(Wed)11:48    Post subject: Reply with quote

Are you certain that they are Peckoltia and not a Panaque species, specifically P. maccus?
This will make a huge difference to what they eat.
Fish from these two genera are often confused at the LFS.
Look here: http://www.aquahobby.com/gallery/e_peckoltia.php
and here: http://www.aquahobby.com/gallery/e_Panaque_maccus.php
to start with.
Please verify your species and post back.
Very Happy
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stevehelium
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Joined: 14 Mar 2006
Location: Japan

PostPosted: 2007.07.20(Fri)8:58    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey there! Thanks for the reply Deborah.

I checked out the gallary and looked at both photos and I really do think I have Peckoltia. The "stripes" on my fish don't seem to be quite that pronounced. But I can 100% see how folks could get confused. I was going to take a photo tonight but they are not in a photo-suitable area at the moment and I don't want to rustle their feathers.

Given that there is about a 10% chance that this fish has been misidentified, how would you vary the diet? What is the difference?

I have also posted on another board (as I usually do) and received a "don't worry too much. Plecos eat at night and if they really get desperate they will come out more"-respose. I trust the folks over there, but I also would love your input.

And I do apologize for the late response. It has been a busy week.

Thanks!
steve
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deborah_claro
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Joined: 11 May 2006
Location: Virginia, USA

PostPosted: 2007.07.20(Fri)12:33    Post subject: Reply with quote

Steve, I can definitely sympathize with the busy week and the worry over catfish not eating. All loricariids (suckermouth armored catfish) like a piece of wood to scrape on or to use as a cave, but Panaque species must have wood to eat. Wood is their main diet and at least two different kinds must be provided for them. Peckoltia, on the other hand, are omnivores and like meaty foods. It's best to stick to a nutritious sinking tablet or wafer for their staple diet, with a fresh or frozen "meat" such as bloodworms, once or twice a week. Keep a piece of wood in the tank for them, and try giving them their wafer(s) at night, as was suggested. Drop the food right in front of them, and make sure the tank lights are out.

When I had my one Peckoltia he was a bit of a tankbuster, and churned up the plants once in a while. Other than that, he didn't eat them or scrape them. I have 2 kinds of Panaque now, and I just love these fish. All loricariids are interesting, and their reclusive ways don't bother me at all. I appreciate them all the more for it.

Most of the suckermouths are low-energy fish and it could take a while for you to discover that they are starving. Here's what to look for: If they are not getting enough to eat, they will have concave abdomens and sunken eyes. The sunken eyes are very obvious; they literally look like their eyes have sunk into two pits. It looks awful!
If they are getting too much of the wrong food, I.e. too much protein in the form of fresh meaty foods, they will develop intestinal problems, which might result in bloating, extreme lethargy and listlessness, and a poor appearance to the "armour." Most tablet or wafer food specially made for bottom feeders will contain the correct amount (ratio) of protein for them. If the days go by, and you become certain that they are not eating, you could try soaking some meaty food or one of their tablets in garlic extract to stimulate their appetite, but I don't think this will be necessary.
To help them feel more comfortable in your tank, try placing a few smooth cobbles or river rocks in a small rockpile in one or two locations around the tank.
Very Happy
Deborah

ps: stevehelium wrote:
Quote:
I checked out the gallary ... I really do think I have Peckoltia ... But I can 100% see how folks could get confused.
Photos of Peckoltia vittata were misidentified for years in the aquarium books, and labeled "Panaque maccus." This is mainly where the confusion came from. It seems to be all sorted out now!
Very Happy
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stevehelium
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Joined: 14 Mar 2006
Location: Japan

PostPosted: 2007.07.21(Sat)4:29    Post subject: Thank You so much! Reply with quote

Deborah - thanks!

I have got to quit trating this hobby as "do and then damage control". Laughing

Your advice was spot on. I have been doing some more research and the driftwood thing and rocks also came to my attention. I got two huge chunks of wood two nights ago but I have to soak them in a bucket for a week or two to be sure all the nasties are out of it. If you have any further advice on treating it, that would be neat. It is sold by a major fish decoration manufacturer here in Japan and it had logical instructions (soaking it) and cautious (don't just throw this in the tank!).

Here is a photo. It really is not very good for two reasons. It's a camera phone and I had the resolution set poorly on the phone. Unfortunatly, the little bugger moved deep into the jungle after I took it so I can't get another good shot. I apologize for the enormous size.



I was happy to see him where you see him pictured. He was de-algaeing one of my sword plants. That was a bit encouraging to me in confirming his identification and seeing him eat something. Today, however, I cannot locate one of the three. That is always a challenge!

Thanks again for the help!
stephen
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